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Tampa Bay softball leaders

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Here are the statistical leaders among area softball players. The stats were compiled Monday from MaxPreps. There was a minimum requirement of six games played.

Batting average

.833 C/OF Olivia Elliott, Jr., Cambridge Christian

.722 UTIL Sienna Bailey, 7th, Northside Christian

.714 CF/INF Kendra Falby, Sr., Sunlake

.659 1B/P Maddie Droz, Sr., Bloomingdale

.644 SS/C Leah Jarnac, Sr., Calvary Christian

.636 SS Karley Shelton, Fr., Newsome

.633 SS/2B Alex Wilkes, So., Gaither

.630 C/P Jocelyn Wilkes, Jr., Gaither

.619 C/3B Zoey Cardona, Sr., Armwood

.615 SS Brooke Blankenship, Sr., River Ridge

.609 3B Mandy Schwartz, Jr., Cypress Creek

.609 UTIL Sydney Watson, Sr., Strawberry Crest

.600 P/UTIL Ava Wilkinson, Fr., Bayshore Christian

.590 OF Samantha Walz, So., Newsome

.583 P/3B Alexa Grande, Sr., St. Petersburg Catholic

.581 1B/3B Tori Knight, Sr., St. Petersburg

.579 3B/C Isabelle Otero, Sr., Clearwater Central Catholic

.577 P/RF Madison Hamilton, Jr., Hernando Christian

.576 P/2B Maddie Weible, Sr., Clearwater Central Catholic

.571 3B/C Samantha Proctor, Sr., Fivay

RBIs

27 C/3B Izzy LaRoche, So., Nature Coast

26 SS/C Leah Jarnac, Sr., Calvary Christian

24 SS Karley Shelton, Fr., Newsome

23 C/3B Sophie Johnson, So., River Ridge

21 P/2B Victoria Nearing, Jr., River Ridge

21 OF Brooke Roberts, Sr., East Lake

21 P/1B Olivia Townsend, Sr., Hernando

21 P/3B Alexa Grande, Sr., St. Petersburg Catholic

20 C/UTIL Madison Frey, Jr., Steinbrenner

20 C/3B/SS Jalyn Sharkey, Fr., East Lake

20 INF/OF E-Mani Bailey-Usma, Sr., Bloomingdale

20 SS/INF Nehanda Lewis, Jr., Land O’ Lakes

19 OF Brianna Baer, Jr., Wiregrass Ranch

19 P/1B Georgia Krohn, Sr., Bloomingdale

19 C/2B Emma Nixon, Jr., Land O’ Lakes

19 INF Sydney Fowler, Jr., Mitchell

19 C/OF Abbee Klinefelter, Jr., Clearwater

19 C Raquel Camuglia, Sr., Springstead

18 SS Kylee Johnson, So., Wiregrass Ranch

18 1B/P Savannah Ellis, So., Hernando

18 C/1B Harper Bunn, Jr., Nature Coast

18 C/UTIL Mikayla Hayes, Sr., Hollins

18 C/P Jocelyn Wilkes, Jr., Gaither

Home runs

7 SS Karley Shelton, Fr., Newsome

6 C Ava Ramirez, Sr., Plant

6 C/1B Hannah Church, Jr., Berkeley Prep

6 3B Mandy Schwartz, Jr., Cypress Creek

6 SS Tieley Vaughn, Sr., Wharton

6 C/OF Olivia Elliott, Jr., Cambridge Christian

5 P/1B Georgia Krohn, Sr., Bloomingdale

5 C/3B Izzy LaRoche, So., Nature Coast

5 C/3B Sophie Johnson, So., River Ridge

5 3B/2B Mariah Gradzki, So., Dunedin

5 C/3B/SS Jalyn Sharkey, Fr., East Lake

5 OF Brooke Roberts, Sr., East Lake

5 UTIL Mariah Rivera, Sr., Osceola

5 CF Jordan Stephens, Sr., Robinson

4 SS Kylee Johnson, So., Wiregrass Ranch

4 C Raquel Camuglia, Sr., Springstead

4 P/2B Morgen Talley, 8th, Canterbury

4 3B/P Lindsey Chadwick, Jr., Robinson

3 C/UTIL Madison Frey, Jr., Steinbrenner

3 SS/C Leah Jarnac, Sr., Calvary Christian

3 OF Jiena Carrera, Sr., Nature Coast

3 C/OF Abbee Klinefelter, So., Clearwater

3 P/3B Alexa Grande, Sr., St. Petersburg Catholic

3 P Gracie Murphy, Fr., Berkeley Prep

3 3B/INF Brooke Lea, Jr., Zephyrhills

3 C/P Jocelyn Wilkes, Jr., Gaither

3 C/1B Riley Onisawa, So., Robinson

3 1B/C Hannah Purcell, So., Land O’ Lakes

3 SS Candace Ripine, Jr., Robinson

3 OF KaYanti Burden, Jr., St. Petersburg Catholic

ERA

0.27 P/1B Robyn Herron, Jr., Sickles

0.38 P/1B Jordan Sheets, Jr., River Ridge

0.47 P Hailey Vazquez, Sr., Cypress Creek

0.50 P/3B DaNia Brooks, So., Sickles

0.80 P/OF Haven Leggett, So., Steinbrenner

0.82 P Mackenzie Duford, Jr., Seminole

1.09 P/1B Kelsey Winters, Jr., Newsome

1.11 P/1B Saige Sampson, Fr., Steinbrenner

1.13 P Emily Proctor, Sr., Land O’ Lakes

1.31 UTIL Mariah Rivera, Jr., Osceola

1.53 P/OF Ashley Shroll, Sr., Steinbrenner

1.56 P/SS Makayla Oster, Jr., Dunedin

1.63 P/UTIL Madasyn Hensley, Fr., Hollins

1.75 P/CF Alyssa Vallad, So., Sumner

1.83 P/2B Victoria Nearing, Jr., River Ridge

1.91 P Kaela Hollenkamp, Fr., Academy of the Holy Names

1.96 P/OF Malia Connelly, Fr., Calvary Christian

1.96 P/SS Haley Bradshaw, Jr., Countryside

1.99 1B/P Olivia Townsend, Sr., Hernando

2.06 P/1B Sarah Miller, So., Clearwater

Strikeouts

137 P Emma Ream, Jr., East Lake

131 P/1B Phoebe Howard, Sr., Tarpon Springs

114 P/1B Robyn Herron, Jr., Sickles

97 P/3B Elana Roush, Fr., East Bay

90 P/1B Kelsey Winters, Jr., Newsome

85 P Hailey Vazquez, Sr., Cypress Creek

79 P Mackenzie Duford, Sr., Seminole

68 P Emily Proctor, Sr., Land O’ Lakes

68 P Kaitlyn Buckley, Jr., Admiral Farragut

67 P/RF Madison Hamilton, Jr., Hernando Christian

61 P/1B Angelique Ballew, Jr., Northeast

60 P/2B Abbey Vyas, Jr., Wiregrass Ranch

56 P/OF Ashley Shroll, Sr., Steinbrenner

54 P/1B Sarah Miller, So., Clearwater

52 P Kaela Hollenkamp, Fr., Academy of the Holy Names

50 P/1B Jordan Sheets, Jr., River Ridge

50 P/SS Haley Bradshaw, Jr., Countryside

49 P Alyssa Grimes, Sr., Strawberry Crest

48 INF Sydney Fowler, Jr., Mitchell

48 P/3B Shannon Kendall, Fr., Seffner Christian

48 P/3B Alexa Grande, Sr., St. Petersburg Catholic

48 P/2B Morgen Talley, 8th, Canterbury

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FHSAA releases softball class and district assignments

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The Florida High School Athletic Association released the classifications, districts and regions for softball this coming season. The assignments are based on student enrollment numbers from October 2020. This is a one-year cycle that the FHSAA board of directors voted on earlier this year. There likely will be a two-year cycle starting with the 2022-23 calendar year. Below is the list for area teams. For the full  boys softball list click here.

Class 7A, District 6

Durant

Newsome

Plant City

Riverview

Class 7A, District 7

Alonso

East Lake

Steinbrenner

Palm Harbor University

Plant

Class 6A, District 5

Gaither

Land O’ Lakes

Largo

Leto

Mitchell

Sickles

Class 6A, District 6

Armwood

Strawberry Crest

Tampa Bay Tech

Wharton

Wiregrass Ranch

Class 6A, District 7

Bloomingdale

Bradenton Manatee

Lennard

Palmetto

Class 5A, District 5

Fivay

Lecanto

River Ridge

Springstead

Sunlake

Class 5A, District 6

Auburndale

Groveland South Lake

Lakeland Kathleen

Pasco

Class 5A, District 9

Blake

Freedom

Hillsborough

Jefferson

King

Class 5A, District 10

Countryside

Osceola

Pinellas Park

Seminole

Class 5A, District 11

Boca Ciega

Hollins

Northeast

St. Petersburg

Class 5A, District 12

Braden River

Bradenton Southeast

Brandon

East Bay

Spoto

Class 4A, District 9

Cypress Creek

Hudson

Nature Coast

Wesley Chapel

Zephyrhills

Class 4A, District 10

Anclote

Clearwater

Dunedin

Gulf 

Tarpon Springs

Class 4A, District 11

Chamberlain

Lake Region

Middleton

Mulberry

Robinson

Class 3A, District 6

Central

Hernando

South Sumter

Weeki Wachee

Class 3A, District 9

Academy of the Holy Names

Berkeley Prep

Brooks DeBartolo

Lakeland McKeel

Tampa Catholic

Class 3A, District 11

Calvary Christian

Clearwater Central Catholic

Lakewood

Parrish

Sarasota Cardinal Mooney

Class 2A, District 6

Bishop McLaughlin

Hernando Christian

Mount Dora Christian

Ocala Trinity Catholic

Seven Rivers Christian

Class 2A, District 9

Academy at the Lakes

Cambridge Christian

Carrollwood Day

Foundation Christian

Lakeside Christian

Seffner Christian

Class 2A, District 10

Admiral Farragut

Canterbury

Indian Rocks Christian

Northside Christian

Shorecrest

St. Petersburg Catholic

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Former Largo and Illinois standout Bobby Roundtree dies

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Bobby Roundtree, the former Largo High and Illinois standout defensive lineman who became an inspiration for many by vowing to walk again after suffering a spinal cord injury, died Friday afternoon, the family confirmed. He was 23. 

No other details were provided. 

A candlelight vigil will be held Monday at 6:30 p.m. at the Ridgecrest YMCA. Those in attendance are encouraged to wear their 97Strong apparel.

Roundtree’s death came two weeks after he received the Bruce Capel Award for Courage, an honor given annually by the Illinois football program. 

Less than 24 hours ago before he passed, Roundtree posted a message on his Twitter page.

More than two years ago, Rountree was in a hospital bed, the result of a swimming accident near the docks off John’s Pass that required spinal cord surgery. It left him in a wheelchair. 

Before the accident, the goals were all related to football. A former two-sport star, Roundtree developed into a ferocious pass-rusher, first at Largo, then at Illinois. As a sophomore in 2018, he won the Dick Butkus Outstanding Defensive Player award after leading the Illini in tackles for loss (12.5), sacks (7.5) and pass breakups (7). His play made him a viable NFL draft pick.

Photos courtesy of Illinois Athletics

Since then, the ambitions have been different. 

Roundtree wanted to be independent. He wanted to travel. He wanted to coach, maybe even start his own rehabilitation center. 

Most of all, he wanted to walk again. 

“I just want to show everybody that anything’s possible,” Roundtree recently said last year in his first interview (via Zoom) with reporters since the accident. “You can be on top of the world and something happens, things might not go as planned, but there’s something out there for everybody.

“This injury isn’t going to overcome me. I’m going to beat this and be successful.”

After the accident, once the surgery was over, Roundtree woke up to machines beeping in every corner of the room. His mother, Jacqueline Hearns, kept saying he was special, that he was beating the odds. 

Friends and teammates were there, too, including former East Lake standout Jake Hansen, now a starting linebacker with the Illini. 

The coaching staff also came to the Tampa Bay area to be by Roundtree’s side. Illinois head coach Lovie Smith practically lived at the hospital, even while preparing for the 2019 season. 

The bond between the player and coach has always been strong. After all, Roundtree was one of the marquee names in Smith’s first recruiting classes. 

“Everything that Lovie said during the recruiting process, about being a family, he stuck by,” Packers coach Marcus Paschal said last year. “You could see it during Bobby’s injury and hospital stay. I don’t know of too many other college coaches who would have done what he did. That was big.”

In June of 2019, Rountree was transported to a rehabilitation center in Chicago. He had lost 70 pounds. He could barely raise his right hand, much less do push ups, after the surgery. 

Roundtree ignored conservative prescriptions for recovery, continuingly defying odds. Before long, he was manually pushing himself in a wheelchair. His triceps muscles were developing.

None of this came as a surprise to Jeremy Busch, the head athletic trainer for Illinois football. 

“After this injury you watched a person that eventually was at the worst point in his life, and yet he doesn’t acknowledge that to where it beats him, but he acknowledges it to motivate him,” Busch said last year of Roundtree. “He’s truly your idea of hope and inspiration on a daily basis. He’s gone from the simplest of struggles to absolutely overcoming everything that you put in front of him.”

Roundtree also was determined not to stay in football exile. He kept in contact with teammates. The coaching staff included him in meetings, virtually. 

The grit Roundtree showed through the grueling stages gave the Illini inspiration. A sign was displayed on the top of a tunnel that the players would touch before heading out to Memorial Stadium. It read: 97 Strong (referring to Roundtree’s number).

Illinois became the feel-good team of college football in 2019. The wins kept coming, often in dramatic ways. 

A field goal as time expired was the difference when the Illini handed the Badgers, ranked No. 6 at the time, their first loss in October of last season. It was the Illini’s first win over a ranked opponent since 2011. Afterward, Illinois players recorded videos of their celebration and sent them to Roundtree.

Three weeks later, the Illini rallied from a 21-point third quarter deficit to beat Michigan State 37-34. 

“I would do anything for the kid,” Hansen said last year of Roundtree. “He’s been a huge inspiration.”

Roundtree attended the 2019 regular season finale, his first game at Memorial Stadium since the injury. He led the team in a pregame prayer. 

And Roundtree remained part of the team. His locker was untouched. 

“Having the team I have now I wouldn’t trade them for anything,” Roundtree said last year. “They’ve been very supportive. They know I’m going to work. I know they’re going to work. We’ve got each other’s backs.”

The Illini faithful have shown financial support, too, pledging money to help offset some of Roundtree’s medical expenses. 

“With everybody so behind me and pushing me, that makes me want to go harder,” Roundtree said last year. “The support of everybody fundraising and everybody donating that means a lot having that support. I don’t have a million dollars to help me through this all. People are giving their last pennies to help me out. That’s just a lot of love right there, and I appreciate everybody for that.”

Roundtree spent the past year at home in Largo rehabilitating. He kept posting video messages of his progress. He bench pressed. He did core work. He rolled on to his side, even tried to stand up with the aid of athletic trainers.  

The final steps Roundtree wanted to take were on his own. 

“When somebody tells me I can’t do something I’m going to prove them wrong and show that I’ll be able to do it,” Roundtree said last year. “It might take me a couple of tries, but I’m going to do it.

“I want to show everybody that anything is possible, no matter the situation.”

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College Football

Lakewood’s Amari Niblack commits to Alabama

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Lakewood’s Amari Niblack had offers from 15 schools entering this week, including Florida, Florida State, Georgia and LSU. 

Then Niblack went to a camp at Alabama and picked up an offer from the Crimson Tide. 

That was all the three-star prospect needed to make up his mind. 

On Thursday, Niblack announced on social media that he committed to Alabama. 

A 6-foot-4 pass catching target, Niblack can play receiver or tight end. This past season, he had seven receptions for 126 yards and two touchdowns according to the stats listed on MaxPreps. 

This is the second straight season Alabama has landed an area receiver and the third time in the past five seasons the Crimson Tide has picked a local skill player.

Agiye Hall, who starred at Armwood and Bloomingdale, was part of the 2021 class. He was an early enrollee and has already made an impact with several highlight-worthy catches in the spring game. 

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